Georgians in Need Grateful to State Hunters
Hunters donated 911 harvested deer to the 2003 Hunters for the Hungry (HFTH) program, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division (WRD). This year’s donations will provide more than 19,000 pounds of venison that food banks across the state will use to make nutritious meals for thousands of needy Georgians this holiday season. This surpasses last year’s donations of 818 deer and brings the grand total of donated deer to 4,939 (almost 115,000 pounds of venison) since the program’s inception in 1993.
“The response of hunters in Georgia to this program is phenomenal,” says WRD Director Noel Holcomb. “We are so pleased to be a part of this program and owe a debt of gratitude to these dedicated sportsmen and the contributions of the program sponsors – Department of Corrections, Department of Agriculture, Georgia Wildlife Federation, Georgia Outdoor News, Department of Natural Resources and the Atlanta Community Food Bank.”
The HFTH program is an annual event that occurs during November. Hunters donate harvested deer at designated collection sites located around the state. The deer are processed into ground venison and donated to the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB). The ACFB then distributes the meat to non-profit agencies responsible for providing food assistance to local communities throughout the state. Hunters who donate a deer receive a t-shirt and are entered into a Georgia Wildlife Federation (GWF) sponsored drawing for a deer rifle. This year, in addition to the six weekend collection sites, three processors collected deer for the entire month of November and processed all deer collected at their sites. The deer collected at the six weekend sites were processed, at no charge, by the Department of Corrections. This saved HFTH more than $16,000 that can be put back into the program next year.
The annual Governor’s Quail Hunt funds the HFTH program. During this event corporate and individual sponsors donate funds that help pay for the processing of the venison, buy t-shirts and compensate the student groups that work the collection sites.
For more information on the HFTH program, visit the WRD website at www.gohuntgeorgia.com or call (770) 535-5700. If information is needed on donating game to those in need during other times of the year, call the ACFB at 404-892-FEED.